Are you struggling with bills? Support is available
The Household Support Fund is designed to provide short-term urgent financial help to Somerset residents who are struggling to afford household essentials such as buying food and paying for prepayment meter energy bills.
Funding provided from the Department for work and Pensions
How to apply
To apply, you must:
- Live in the county of Somerset – if you live in North Somerset, help is available from North Somerset Council
- Be over the age of 16 and living independently of parents/carers
- Have a total household income between £0 and £1,484 per month, or £17,809 per annum. Household income includes all benefits, earnings and pensions, except for Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Housing Benefit, and the housing element of Universal Credit.
- Provide the following documents when you apply:
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of your address
- Proof of income
- Proof of Additional Criteria or a letter from a support worker to confirm this element
You can get help regardless of your work situation, provided you show that you are struggling to pay for essentials. A Household Support Fund will not affect your benefits.
You can apply if any of the following applies to you:
- Are temporarily out of work
- Are unable to work due to illness
- Are long term unemployed and unable to retrain due to multiple reasons such as poor health
- Have a chronic illness
- Have a severe learning or physical disability that affects your day-to-day life
- Are in receipt of pension credit
- Currently use a mental health service, or a member of your household does
- Are a carer
- Are pregnant
- Have a child that requires a specialist diet
- Have a child with a chronic illness
- Have a child with a severe learning or physical disability that affects their day-to-day life
- Are or have been a child in care (Child looked after)
- Are a care leaver
- Receive support from Somerset Council Children’s Social Care
- Are fleeing domestic abuse
- Are homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation
- Are a refugee
- Are a foster carer, kinship carer or special guardian who cares for a Somerset child and can demonstrate a need for immediate or short-term support, which could not be reasonably paid for from any allowance you may receive
- Receive support from Somerset Council Adults Social Care
- You or your family currently have a Social Worker and are on a Child in Need Plan or on a Child Protection Plan
If you have successfully applied for the Household Support Fund in the past, and nothing has changed, you will still be eligible for support and you can apply once every 6 months.
You are unable to apply if you:
- have savings over the value of £2000
If you do not qualify for this funding and are a Somerset resident there may be other help available. Please visit Citizens Advice for more information.
To apply, click the button below.
You will be sent to the Auriga portal and will need to make an account. To create an account, select ‘Create Individual Account’.
What the fund will cover
Examples of what the Household Support Fund can pay for
- Supermarket food vouchers
- Energy Top Up Vouchers (for use with pre-payment meters)
The fund will not cover:
- Debt repayments
- Cash payments
- Rent or housing costs
- Phone bills
- Non-urgent items such as televisions and some furniture
Local and national support
You can go to a library and use one of their public computers to complete an online application or take in your own device and use their Wi-Fi for free. You can also find a list of additional household help and support here
Cost of living website – The government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
Cost of living payment – GOV.UK guidance on getting an extra payment to help with the cost of living if you are entitled to certain benefits or tax credits.
What happens next
The application will be reviewed by the Household Support Fund who will let you know what will be provided and how you will receive this.
The Household Support Fund aim to review all requests for:
- food/utility top up vouchers within 2 working days
- white goods/beds/other within 5 working days (please note white goods and beds can take 2 weeks or more to be delivered dependent on stock availability)
If you have problems registering or logging on, please contact Auriga by email: email@example.com or phone 0121 362 3613
The quickest way for you to apply is online. If you cannot apply through the website and and need help to apply – Please phone Somerset Council on 0300 123 2224. Somerset Council will help you find an organisation who will help you make an application.
Where Somerset Council suspects that fraud may have occurred, it will investigate the matter as appropriate, this may lead to criminal proceedings.
If a claimant attempts to claim an award from the Household Support Fund by making a false declaration or providing false evidence, they may have committed an offence under the Theft Act 1968.